Why we ain’t castigating Allen Onyema, by militant group
A militant group, the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), has distanced itself from the castigation of Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
JRC spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, described Onyema as a “goodwill ambassador of the Niger Delta, hence the group would not be party to any attempts to disparage or denigrate him.”
She added: “We expect Allen Onyema to put up a good defence for himself. So far, no American bank has accused him of defrauding or absconding with its money. He is innocent until proven guilty.”
Whyte, who flayed MEND, said: “it was a sheer waste of time to respond to agents of blackmail, greed, filth, violence, malice and decadence which that MEND represents.”
The spokesperson claimed: “People who traded in guns, violence and mischief have no place in a conversation centered on peace, goodwill and development. While this is not a defence of Allen Onyema, it is absurd that people who traded guns with our young people, and then encouraged these people to engage in bank robberies and kidnappings for ransoms so they can pay for their guns should not be the same people calling others corrupt.”
JRC alleged that thousands of armed young men were left stranded in the creeks of the Niger Delta by MEND.
These young men, according to the group, “later became a menace to communities in the Niger Delta.”
“It took ‘strangers’ like Allen Onyema and some others to step in and bring the promise of hope and a better life for so many of them. They sold us guns. Allen Onyema sold us peace,” Whyte stated.
The JRC recalled that at a time when the United States government was not offering visas to high-risk youths in the Niger Delta, it was “Onyema who came in and ensured that some of the boys from the region who accepted the amnesty offer of the Federal Government could enrol in non-violence training programmes offered by the Martin Luther King Centre in Atlanta, Georgia.”
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